The 2020/21 AHDB Recommended List features 27 new cereal and oilseed varieties, many boasting a step up in disease resistance, with oilseed rape yields taking a particularly big leap.
Disease scores continue to improve in wheat varieties with Theodore from DSV seeds possessing the highest septoria rating of any variety at 8.2 and the highest untreated yield of any feed variety at 90 per cent.
Recommended only for the West and expected to appeal to mixed farmers with limited time, it has good yellow rust resistance at 9, and a 7 for brown rust and mildew.
RGT Saki brings a strong disease package to Group 4 soft wheats with the highest untreated yield (86) and a strong UK treated yield of 104, second only in the group to LG Skyscraper.
With a 9 for yellow rust, 8 for brown rust, and 6.8 for septoria, as well as orange wheat blossom midge (OWBM) resistance, the late maturing variety gives a specific weight of 75.7kg/hl and a hagberg falling number (HFN) of 221. However, it is rated poor for distilling.
Meanwhile, SY Insitor and KWS Kinetic bring higher treated yields to the hard Group 4 wheats, combined with good grain qualities. With specific weights of 78.5kg/hl for KWS Kinetic and 78.3kg/hl for SY Insitor, treated yields outdo those of Graham and Gleam. Both have good disease packages and OWBM resistance.
New to the spring wheats, nabim Group 2 KWS Giraffe is slightly lower yielding than KWS Cochise at 103, but makes it up in quality with a hagberg of 271, protein of 13.3 per cent and specific weight of 79.8kg/hl. It has good gluten strength and is one of the shortest varieties on the spring wheat RL.
Reports of unexpected levels of rusts on some varieties in 2019 led to questions about new rust races emerging and the reliability of RL rust ratings.
Dr Paul Gosling, head of the RL says: “Yellow rust and brown rust RL data were subject to additional checks which showed that varietal resistance was generally inline with recent years. However, some varieties had their rust ratings reduced by one point, with KWS Firefly having its brown rust rating reduced by 2 points, and some varieties actually went up.
“RL trials cover a wide range of agronomic and climatic conditions, but both yellow and brown rust populations are highly diverse and dynamic. You can get different races in different regions, across different fields and even from plant to plant.”
Acknowledging there are issues with the ratings produced for a UK situation, AHDB have made changes to the table this year. Rust ratings will be highlighted and accompanied by a note advising varieties to be monitored in all situations.